London, Oct 31: Arsenal's players are aiming to expose stuttering Marseille to the same attacking football that blew away Chelsea when the teams meet in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Arsenal's recovery from a terrible start to the season gathered further momentum with Saturday's remarkable 5-3 Premier League win at Chelsea, which was previously unbeaten at Stamford Bridge.
With Borussia Dortmund hosting Olympiakos in the other Group F match, leader Arsenal can move to the verge of a second-round place with victory. But the Gunners want another sparkling attacking display to go along with three points.
“If you have gone through what we have gone through since the start of the season, it's reassuring for me,” Wenger said. “The players have suffered, but that shows the belief and spirit is back.
“The players are determined together and they want to play like we did against Chelsea. That encourages us to believe that we have the quality.”
Arsenal won 1-0 at Marseille two weeks ago to take control of their group and another victory at the Emirates Stadium, where the Gunners are unbeaten in Champions League action since the 2008-09 semifinals.
With 28 goals in 27 Premier League matches in 2011, Robin van Persie will again lead the Arsenal attack against Marseille, which is mired in mid-table in the French league with just three wins from its opening 12 matches.
“His intelligence of movement is exceptional and his confidence at the moment is so high that he takes advantage of every situation,” Wenger said. “The captaincy has contributed to his form as well.”
Wenger is likely to select largely the same team that recovered from 1-0 and 2-1 down against Chelsea, with Per Mertesacker now settling in defense and Mikel Arteta dovetailing well in midfield with Aaron Ramsey, who scored the winner at Stade Velodrome on Oct. 19.
While Arsenal has won five straight matches in all competitions, Saturday's 3-2 win at Dijon was the first time this season that Marseille has won consecutive league games.
Marseille almost threw away victory when it allowed unheralded Dijon to rally from 2-0 down before substitute Alou Diarra headed the winner with eight minutes left from Mathieu Valbuena in the 82nd.
Still, Marseille—French champion in 2010 and runner-up to Lille last season—is in ninth place and 14 points behind leader Paris Saint-Germain after only 12 games.
“We've started a small streak,” striker Loic Remy said. “Let's hope it will continue.”
Arsenal has seven points to Marseille's six and is almost certain to advance if it wins Tuesday.
Borussia Dortmund is bottom of Group F with a single point and looking for its first win after losing to Olympiakos and Marseille, and drawing with Arsenal in its first Champions League season since 2002-03.
“It's the most important (game) for us to date,” Dortmund defender Neven Subotic said. “We've gotten ourselves into a situation where we really need a win. The faster we score the better, because we only have three chances left.”